BERLIN: Germany is planning to extend restrictions on restaurants and hotels until Jan 10, sources familiar with discussions between the federal government and 16 states said on Wednesday (Dec 2). Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with regional governors on whether coronavirus lockdown measures introduced last month are enough to turn the tide. While the daily rise in infection numbers has started to fall, Germany reported its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic on Wednesday and regions that had been spared the worst of the virus are seeing case numbers surge. Citing this reality, one state leader vowed to push for stricter measures at the talks with Merkel. Sources familiar with the talks said Merkel and state leaders could decide on extending restrictions for restaurants and hotels in mid-December. READ: Germany's COVID-19 restrictions likely to continue in January: Merkel READ: Germans should brace for 4 to 5 months of severe … [Read more...] about Germany to keep restaurants, hotels closed until Jan 10: Sources
With most restaurants relying on delivery and takeout during the COVID-19 pandemic , more attention has been placed on third-party food ordering apps like Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes and DoorDash. Recently, Ontario announced that it will be capping commissions charged to restaurants in areas where indoor dining is banned and a plan for Skip the Dishes to deliver alcohol from the LCBO was shelved after being met with criticism from those in the restaurant and bar business. It’s also been reported that many of the food delivery apps have yet to turn a profit (though they continue to be valued in the billions ), restaurant owners are saying the apps take a big chunk of their revenue, and the people who make the deliveries aren’t making a living wage , so what could be done to make it sustainable for everyone? Michael von Massow , a food economist at the University of Guelph’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, says there needs to be an overhaul in … [Read more...] about Inside the economics of food delivery apps: Where do the fees go?
In Prague, Saint Nicholas day took on some new twists for celebrating Czechs on Saturday, from drive-through visits to kitting his accompanying angels and devils out in gloves and masks so that they could hand out treats. The Czech version of the holiday includes Saint Nicholas visiting with an angel and devil to reward well-behaved children with sweets and less angelic ones with a lump of coal or a potato. But rules limiting social contact due to the COVID-19 pandemic meant the usual custom of costumed trios roaming Czech neighbourhoods to greet children was given a make-over. At one outdoor site on the top level of a shopping mall parking lot, horned devils danced around a car to scare the children inside before an angel swept with a bag of sweets. "We just drove into a fairytale world and everything came alive," said Lucie Cigankova, who brought her daughter Anicka. "Experiences like this are great during the coronavirus." The Czech government advised families to … [Read more...] about Saint Nicholas delivers for Czech children with drive-through delights
NEW YORK: Promising news about a COVID-19 vaccine has small business owners feeling more upbeat despite cases of the virus surging in many parts of the United States. Owners hope consumers and businesses will be more relaxed about spending now that two drug companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have vaccines that data show were highly effective in testing. Some owners are rethinking their plans - some are holding off on staff cuts, while others say they are more likely to renew their office leases even as employees still work from home. But owners also realise many hurdles remain - the vaccines still require approval by the Food and Drug Administration, and then it will take time for millions of doses to be manufactured and widely distributed. It is not clear how many people will decide to receive the vaccine, and in turn, how much of the population would be immune to the virus. READ: US hits 12 million COVID-19 cases as many Americans defy Thanksgiving travel guidance … [Read more...] about US business owners upbeat on COVID-19 vaccine, wary as virus spreads
WILMINGTON, Delaware: President-elect Joe Biden on Monday (Nov 16) will focus on plans for reviving a pandemic-battered US economy as he prepares for his new administration, while President Donald Trump vowed to press ahead with long-shot court challenges to the election results. With the number of coronavirus cases surging across the country, Biden will receive a briefing and give a speech in his home state of Delaware on rebuilding an economy that has suffered millions of job losses as the pandemic has killed more than 245,000 Americans and closed many businesses. Biden's scientific advisers will meet this week with pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines to battle COVID-19, a top aide to the president-elect said, in preparation for the logistical challenges of widespread vaccination. READ: What mandate? Biden's agenda faces a divided Congress Trump sent mixed messages on Sunday, briefly appearing to acknowledge defeat in a morning tweet, only to backtrack, … [Read more...] about Biden to focus on plans for US economy battered by COVID-19 as Trump presses long-shot legal claims